Our Story

I've been a collector my entire life. It probably started with trying to get as many Ninja Turtles as I could. From that it varied. Be it Pogs, coins, Marvel Masterpiece cards, Robin comics, or whatever else I fancied, it seemed to be engrained in my particular brand of fandom.

In middle school and high school it was Star Wars. If it said Star Wars on it, I likely had to have it. My shelves were packed full of figurines, magazines, books, you name it. All the Episode I pop cans? Had them. Of the entire gamut of collectibles, I loved action figures the most (the continuation of my TMNT days).

Life goes on, but the way I collect has grown with time. Now I'm more particular, feeling that high when discovering those hidden gems I enjoy most.


The Spark of an Idea

In early 2017, I had a conversation with a Funko Pop collector about how hard it was to display his hundreds of collectibles. He resorted to purchasing shelves at IKEA, Target, or just build his own. I resonated with this because when I was immersed into collecting, displaying it all was extremely important. I wanted it to look good! But that was hard when everything was on the same shelf, so I ended up putting them on books or stacking one on top of the other.

As I dove into the research, I found that my friend's issues weren't uncommon. In his case, so many Funko Pop collectors expressed the same frustration about little to no dependable sources for collection displays that weren't either made of cardboard or very expensive.

I was surprised that collectors of all sorts were so limited in their options for displaying something they spend so much time, money, and emotions investing in. So I made a decision:
If there was anything I could do to help people display their collections more proudly, then I wanted to do what I could to help.

The Process

I started by laser cutting a cardboard prototype, and then another in acrylic.
I learned the "puzzle piece" idea wasn't going to work. Then tried 3D printing, and eventually another laser-cut acrylic prototype.

The Right Team

Around this time I met the team at Bottleneck Gallery and we decided to partner to make Collectishelf happen. They help make artists' dreams a reality, and I knew this was the right team to work with.

We kept working hard on new prototypes. After extensive weight testing and working with our excellent partners at our manufacturer, we found the best way to bring Collectishelf to fans was through the same process and material that LEGO uses for its products: ABS mold-injected plastic.

With the help of an excellent team, I was thrilled to launch Collectishelf at New York Comic Con with where we sold out on the third day due to some amazing, and very excited, fans! I even got to show off how the shelves can easily stack and still be sturdy. :)

We got a lot of great feedback from people at New York Comic Con. One customer bought two shelves on Friday and came back the next day to show us how she had already set hers up for all of her supplies and knickknacks on her desk!

What's Next

The Collectishelf story has been great fun so far, and there's much more to come. As we move forward we remain committed to the same idea that got us started: help people display their collections proudly.

Join the adventure, and show us your collection using #collectionpride. 🙌

Will Lenzen Jr - Designer/Founder of Collectishelf